‘Wicked’ Trailer Premieres at Super Bowl (Here’s a Queer Analysis)
Good news, Cynthia Erivo is queer so all Wicked news — including the drop of the first teaser trailer — is queer news PREPARED TO BE SICK OF ME.
Though, to be honest, even if it didn’t star a queer Broadway superstar (and a pop star who definitely dated Liz Gillies if you ask me and me probably me alone), I would have made the argument that Wicked is queer. Elphaba and Galinda’s story has all the makings of an enemies-to-lovers tale. But going into that would a) require spoiling the story, which I’m not going to do in case people don’t know the full story and b) take me a thesis-length amount of words and we’re just here for a FIX of Pop Culture, not an ocean of it.
But! That said, there’s another argument to be made for calling Wicked a queer story: Elphaba is queer, in the original and literal definition of the word. Her skin is green, she loves to study, she has powers no one quite understands, she grew up so sheltered she doesn’t know anything about fashion or romance or dancing like her peers. Ever since I first saw the show, Elphaba’s experience always hit a little close to home, as a queer kid who was closeted for the entirety of my schooling (sans grad school.) Of course, since a fair portion of Elphaba’s “oddness” is directly tied to her verdigris, I think the role is always a more complex metaphor when played by a person of color.
Anyway I’ll save the rest of my Wicked thesis for later! Until then, here’s a few more points about the movie as it pertains to this trailer specifically:
First, I will not be linking to any sites that only mention Ariana Grande in the headline. (Looking at you, Rolling Stone.) Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo are co-headlining this movie, and while the story is absolutely about both Elphaba and Galinda, if you have to pick one who it’s MORE about, it’s definitely Elphaba. The titular role! I get that Ariana Grande is more “mainstream” famous, but you can’t include her without mentioning Cynthia Erivo! It’s just rude.
Second, I’m a little confused, because we have been long assuming that the two parts of the movie will be split the same way the play is, Act I and Act II. But there were definitely some moments in the trailer that look like they were from Act II, which implies to me that it’s further along in production than I thought, and so why is there a FULL CALENDAR YEAR between movies?
And finally, why the hell isn’t there more singing in the trailer? There were a lot of jokes when the Mean Girls and Color Purple movie trailers came out that it was possible to not know if they were musicals based on the trailers alone, especially because those are two musicals that also have non-musical movie adaptations. And I know what you’re thinking, “Surely everyone in the world knows that Wicked is a musical,” but that almost makes my point even stronger.
Technically The Wizard of Oz is also a musical, so even people expecting it to be a twisted adaptation of that shouldn’t be TOO shocked to find Wicked is a musical. No one who enjoys the Wizard of Oz properties is going to be like “bleh I hate when people sing in movies!” So why on earth are you not showcasing your two amazing singers in the trailer more? All we get is the telltale riff at the end of Defying Gravity… which is probably the climax of the movie and a weird thing to include!!
All this to say, I have notes about how they’re executing the release and marketing of this movie, BUT I’m so extremely excited.
More Super News:
+ Queer celebs who attended the Super Bowl include (but surely are not limited to) Ice Spice, Lady Gaga, Queen Latifah, and Janelle Monáe
+ Jennifer Beals had a cameo in a Flashdance-themed Jason Mamoa + Scrubs guys T-Mobile commercial
+ Speaking of The L Word Alumni, Sarah Shahi is going to be in a new show
+ Abbott Elementary was renewed for a fourth season
+ You can now watch a trailer for Hannah Gasby’s new comedy special
+ Ghosts is coming back soon and had a Super Bowl commercial about it
+ It’s a scientific fact: Maddow makes Mondays more manageable
+ Scripts for the first few episodes of Season 4 of Only Murders in the Building have been written and are reportedly “incredible”
+ Reneé Rapp’s “lack of media training” is a good thing, actually